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School Stuff: Glossary of British terms


Well, you know that Britain and the United States share a common language. It's English. But there are many differences between British English and American English. Words are used differently, and many British words have different meanings or are unique to the British culture.

So, here's a glossary for you of British terms and their American equivalent:

British Word = American Word school blocks
Advertisement =                  Commercial
Anticlockwise =         Counterclockwise
Aubergine =         Eggplant
Bangers =         Sausages
Bank Holiday = National Holiday
Barrister = Lawyer (no corresponding definition)
Bin, Dustbin (the one outside) = Trash Can
Biscuit = Cookie
Bogey = Booger
Bonnet (car) = Hood (car)
Boot (car) = Trunk (car)
Box (slang term for TV) = Tube (slang term for TV)
Braces = Suspenders
Buggy = Baby stroller
Building Society = Savings Bank
Car park = Parking lot
Caretaker (of a building) = Janitor
Carriage (railway) = Railroad car, subway car
Cashier (bank) = Bank Teller
Casualty = Emergency room
Charge sheet = Police record
Chat Show = Talk Show
Chemist = Pharmacy, drug store
Chips = French fries
Cot = Crib
Crisps = Potato chips
Current account (banking) = Checking account (banking)
Deposit account = Savings account
Dialling code = Area code
Dole = Welfare
Dual carriageway = Divided highway (4 lanes)
Dustman = Garbageman
Father Christmas = Santa Claus
Filling station, petrol station = Gas station
Fire Brigade = Fire Department
Flat = Apartment
Flex = Electrical cable
Indicators = Blinkers, turn signals
Flyover = Overpass
Football = Soccer
Fortnight = Two weeks
Full stop = Period (punctuation)
Gangway = Aisle
Garden = Yard
Gear-lever = Stick-shift
Geyser = Hot water heater
Glasgow kiss = Head butt
Hire: to rent = Hire: to employ
Hold up: traffic jam = Hold up: robbery
Holiday = Vacation
Interval = Intermission
Jumper = Sweater
Level crossing = Railroad crossing
Lift = Elevator
Lorry = Truck
Managing Director = President (of a company)
Match (as in sports) = Game (as in sports)
Maths = Math
Mileometer = Odometer
Mince = Ground beef
Motorist, Motoring = Driver, Driving
Motorway = Freeway (Expressway / Interstate)
Multi-socket = Power strip
Note (currency) = Bill (currency)
Old age pensioner = Senior Citizen
Old boy/girl (of a school) = Alumnus/Alumna
Paraffin = Kerosene
Parcel = Package
Pavement = Sidewalk
Perspex = Plexi-glass
Petrol = Gasoline
Pillar box / post box = Mailbox
Pitch = Playing field
Post = Mail
Post Code = Zip Code
Postgraduate student = Graduate student
Power point = Electrical outlet
Pram = Baby carriage
Public school = Private school
Pupils = Students (at school)
Queue = Line (as in "standing in")
Railway = Railroad
Retrench, made redundant = Downsize (at work)
Rise (in salary) = Raise (in salary)
Scheme: plan or project = Scheme: devious plan or project
Sellotape (trademark used as generic name) = Scotch Tape (trademark used as generic name)
Serviette = Napkin
Sister = Nurse
Slip Road = On/Off Ramp
Solicitor = Lawyer
State school = Public School
Steps: ladder = Steps: staircase, built-in stairway
Stroke: this punctuation mark: / = Diagonal: /
Superannuation scheme = Retirement pension plan
Take-away (food) = Carry-out (food)
Tannoy = P.A. (public address) System
Tarred road = Blacktop
Terrace = Bleachers
Terrace House = Townhouse
Tick mark, to tick off = Check mark, to check off
To let = To rent
Toilet, W.C. (Water Closet) = Restroom, bathroom
Torch = Flashlight
Traffic light = Traffic light, stop light
Tram = Streetcar, trolleycar
Transport café = Truck stop
Treacle = Molasses
Trousers = Pants
Trunk call (telephone) = Long-distance call
Underground / Tube = Subway
Van = Delivery truck
Veteran: an old ex-serviceman = Veteran: ex-serviceman (age non-specific)
Wardrobe = Closet
Windscreen = Windshield
Wing (of an automotive) = Fender (of an automotive)
Zebra crossing = Cross walk

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